The Top 8 Beaches in Israel

<div class="masa-blog-title">The Top 8 Beaches in Israel</div>

Written by Andria Kaplan-Aylyarov


Yes, BRRR. The weather is cold outside and as you kindle the Hanukkah flames and spin that dreidel, warm yourself up and imagine you’re under the Tel Aviv sun, soaking up the rays on one of these beaches.

…Because seriously, where else would you rather be?


1. Banana Beach
Located on the southernmost edge near Jaffa this beach is home to Friday night drum circles, hula hooping-bikini wearing girls, endless games of Matkot and sunbather after sunbather. Think of it as a Bohemian paradise right next to Tel Aviv.


2. Gordon Beach, Frishman Beach, Bograshov Beach
Welcome to beach-mania. These three beaches offer endless white sand, beautiful people and the perfect dose of sunshine. Located right in the center of Tel Aviv these beaches offer a great getaway with tons of bars and restaurants. Each beach is the perfect place to catch the addicting Tel Aviv sunset plus, there’s a Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream stand at Gordon Beach. #YUM

3. Trumpeldor Beach
Walking down the beach in Tel Aviv you’ll spot an unusual statue and you know you’ve arrived at Trumpeldor Beach. This is a quieter beach amongst its neighbors since there are no facilities or lifeguards.

4. Jerusalem Beach
Formerly known as Geula Beach, Jerusalem Beach is located right off Allenby Street and near the very well-known Opera Tower building. You’ll find falafel shops and bodegas everywhere, so don’t worry about packing snacks for the day. It’s not touristy and is the perfect spot to meet all your friends for a relaxing beach day.

5. Tel Baruch Beach
Tel Baruch Beach may be one of Israel’s cleanest beaches. Fully equipped with green lawns, outdoor workout area, and seaside café it’s the perfect escape from a long week of classes or a big night out. 

6. Metzitzim Beach
If you wake up early enough on a Friday or Saturday morning,  take a stroll down Namal Tel Aviv, and  grab a coffee while you check out Metzitzim Beach. It’s more family oriented but offers three volleyball courts and an outdoor workout area. If that’s not your thing, however, keep walking north and you’ll catch twenty-something Israelis sipping Goldstar and hanging out.

7. The Surfer’s Beach at the Hilton Hof HaGolshim
Besides beautiful people watching all day long check out The Surfer’s Beach and prepare to be amazed at the skill, the surf, and the boys. It’s a hot spot to kayak or learn how to paddle board too!


8. Coral Reef Beach(Red Sea):
Okay, so this beach isn't in Tel Aviv but it's a sun worshipper's paradise. You can go from sand to snorkel to world-class resort within minutes. The best part? There's a good chance your Masa program already has a trip to Eilat planned. #GetReady

Andria Kaplan Aylyarov is a Masa Israel Alumna and content marketing specialist for Masa Israel Journey. She loves a good glass of white wine and wishes she was 85-years-old and living in Boca, but she currently resides in New York.


To learn more about Masa Israel and the programs we offer, click here. 


Happy Thanksgiving from Masa Israel Journey!

<div class="masa-blog-title">Happy Thanksgiving from Masa Israel Journey!</div>

Masa Israel participants from the Masa-GLI Global Leadership Summit celebrate Thanksgiving from Israel thanking those who inspired them to take their journey and become today's leaders:



Masa Israel Thanksgiving Video

Masa Israel participants from the Masa GLI Global Leadership Summit celebrate Thanksgiving from Israel thanking those who inspired them to take their journey and become today's leaders! Watch and share! #Thanksgiving #MyMasa #Leadership #Thanksgiving2016 Masa Tlalim Career Israel BINA Center for Jewish Identity and Hebrew Culture Destination Israel The Jewish Agency for Israel

Posted by Masa Israel Journey on Wednesday, November 23, 2016



Masa-GLI Global Leadership Summit: What A Week!

<div class="masa-blog-title">Masa-GLI Global Leadership Summit: What A Week!</div>

This past week, I had the incredible opportunity to take part in a life changing summit on leadership, hosted by Masa.  I came home with a loss of words (literally and figuratively, as I had lost my voice) at how this week has changed my life. This summit brought together 200 young adults from all over the world to learn together about leadership, adaptive change, and how we can use these topics in our lives here and when we go back home.  I met people from North and South America, all over Europe, Africa, and Israel that had all chosen to take a week from their lives to come together and share in this experience.
Within the 200 people, we were all split into groups of around 25 people, and my group truly became my family during the week.  #FruitSalad #Group3isthebest! We spent at least one or two sessions together everyday not only to learn and overcome different challenges, but we spent time discussing challenges some of the group members were currently having in their various Masa programs.  I presented a challenge I felt that I am facing, and the group was so incredibly supportive and had an amazing brainstorm session of ways I could tackle and overcome the problem.  For lunch on Wednesday, many of us went to a hummus place, because there’s no more Israeli way of solidifying new friendships than sharing hummus!  5 days was not nearly enough time to spend with this wonderful family I now have.  I cannot wait to be able to spend weekends in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and elsewhere in Israel visiting these people.  We have only been apart a few hours at this point, and I am already missing them so much!
When I was not with my home group, we split into different elective workshops.  My favorite one was learning about narrative development and how we can effectively use our stories to create change in the world.  During this workshop, our facilitator spoke briefly about the best way to tell our stories, and then we spent a majority of the time practicing these skills in small groups.  Since this workshop happened to be on the last full day of the summit, I had become quite close with everyone, I decided to write mine on invisible disabilities and my recent Lupus diagnosis.  I used this platform to talk about how it is important to be supportive of everyone you meet, because you never know what challenges they may be facing.  My small group then encouraged me to share my story with the entire workshop group.  It was so uplifting to be able to feel comfortable to share my story with everyone, after only learning about my Lupus a few months ago.  Afterwards, I had multiple people come up to me and say how inspired they were, because they were facing similar challenges, and it showed me how important it is to be open about this part of my life.
Overall, I truly believe that words cannot even begin to skim the surface of explaining the experience I have had this week.  From the new friendships I have gained, to the skills and knowledge I learned, the Masa-GLI Global Leadership Summit has given me tools that I am now able to take into the rest of my life.  I do not remember ever attending a conference that has been so helpful.  To all of my new friends, I cannot wait to come visit you soon!
Written by Tami Greenberg who is currently a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Migdal HaEmek. To follow her Journey read more at her blog

The Jerusalem Post: US University Delegation Seek Intern Partnerships

The Jerusalem Post: US University Delegation Seek Intern Partnerships

November 16, 2016

By Tamara Zieve


Masa Israel Journey strive to make country a landmark on path to success for American students

A delegation of faculty members from 10 leading US universities are in Israel this week to explore the country’s hi-tech and business scene with a view toward developing internship programs here for their students.


Masa Israel Journey, a partnership between the Jewish Agency and the Israeli government, organized the visit together with the Foreign Ministry, to help US students build their careers with hands-on experience of Israeli academia and industry.


“The fact that these executive directors have chosen to arrive to Israel in order to get to know it and explore ways their students can benefit from an internship in Israel, is amazing,” said Adi Barel, director of international business development at Masa.


“On these campuses, either you face an anti-Israeli discourse or you don’t hear about Israel at all.”


By sending senior faculty members on the delegation, she said participating universities are sending a message.


“When these internship programs shape up, senior individuals from the public and the private sectors will arrive at the universities for professional matters. It brings out an all new side about Israel, which is more professional. This is a wonderful platform for Israel to be talked about in a very legitimate and non-political way,” she remarked.


Masa delegation

A Masa-organized delegation here to explore internship opportunities for US university students posts for a picure on Sunday with Jerusalem's Old City as a backdrop. (photo credit: Courtesy)


While in Israel for the weeklong visit that began Friday, the delegation, which consists mostly of directors of career services and development, is meeting with CEOs and start-up founders and visiting universities and companies such as the Hebrew University, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Teva, WeWork and Deloitte. Because it is the first time in Israel for most of the 12 visitors, they also are visiting local landmarks such as Masada and the Dead Sea.


By introducing members of the delegation to industry leaders, Adi Hila, director of business development at Masa, said the initiative seeks to create the best opportunities for both students and schools while striving to “assist them to become even more successful in their fields and make a positive mark on their life path, making Israel part of their success story.”


Masa hopes the program will not only lay the foundation for future collaborations, but also send new ambassadors for Israel back to US campuses.


The organization seems to have succeeded with Alane De Luca, director of global employer relations at Northeastern University. As the group enjoyed dinner at the Cnaan restaurant in Tel Aviv on Monday night, De Luca gushed about her experience, telling The Jerusalem Post she is keen to send her children to visit the country.


“I love the intersection of cultures,” she said. Northeastern University already sends students for internships in Israel, and De Luca hopes to develop the partnership with Masa further.


Lars Gilbertson, director of undergraduate studies at Tulane University, said the emphasis on Israel as the Start-up Nation resonates with New Orleans citizens, who had to rebuild their city after Hurricane Katrina.


“There’s been an explosion of entrepreneurship after the hurricane and, now that I’m here... I can see firsthand and start to understand how Israel has been forced to innovate,” he remarked, noting Israel’s fast pace, technological savvy and outward focus on global markets.


“It’s really exciting to see, and I feel my students would greatly benefit from coming here and developing their own global perspective,” he added.


“I’m exploring the potential for students who develop technology to gain deep insight into what it takes to start a start-up,” he continued. “I’d love to see them come here to take courses and do an internship and then go home and apply the lessons they learned. I think it would give them a tremendous advantage to have flavorings of the Israeli business model and I think it would be a decisive competitive edge.”


Andrea Dine, executive director of the Hiatt Career Center at Brandeis University, called collaborating with Israel a “natural outgrowth” of the university’s history because it was founded by the Jewish community in 1948, still has deep ties with the Jewish community and still has a significant Jewish population on campus. Given that a number of the university’s students visit Israel regularly, she said there is a natural affinity for the Masa program.


Originally published in The Jerusalem Post

Jewish Journal: Election Night 2016: The Sights and Sounds in Los Angeles and Israel

Jewish Journal: Election Night 2016: The Sights and Sounds in Los Angeles and Israel

November 10, 2016

By Orit Arfa, Contributing Writer


11:41 a.m. PST (9:41 p.m. local time), Abraham’s Hostel, Tel Aviv


“Let’s make America great again!” shouts an 18-year-old Texan, standing near the DJ booth as three screens hover above the dance floor of the Abraham Hostel.


Tonight, Masa Israel Journey, which brings young adults to study, intern and volunteer in Israel for several months, united participants through an election viewing event expected to go until 2 a.m. local time (4 p.m. in Los Angeles). Another participant repeats Trump’s campaign slogan.


“I don’t know who’s being sarcastic anymore,” says 24-year-old Michigan native Josh Linden, currently teaching English in Israel. He cast his absentee vote for Clinton. “I haven’t met anyone here voting for him yet but I haven’t been asking.” (The Texan, by the way, voted for Clinton.)


As a DJ tried to rev up the crowd with some hip-hop, with results still hours away, most of the people were lounging around, schmoozing over beer, or playing pool or table soccer. None seemed too worried about the United States, either way.


Maybe their comfort playing “Israeli” for the past two months has contributed to a feeling of detachment in the air. And while Abraham Hostel is so named for being a place that fosters peace among people, the crowd doesn’t seem to need the reconciliatory touch. Judging from a straw poll, Sara Eisen, the program’s chief communications officer, said most of the participants are Clinton supporters. But she attributes their laid-back attitude tonight to the nature of the program.


“I think, in general, people come to Israel to grow and to expand and to change — minds are wider,” she said.


Max Moser, 27, of Los Angeles and currently a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, didn’t want to reveal his choice.


“I’m not excited about the election like most Americans,” he said. “I feel like there’s really a lack of leadership in the United States government.”


Does this make him more inclined to make aliyah? Israel’s newest holiday, Aliyah Day, celebrating immigration to Israel, fell on Nov. 8.


“I’m considering aliyah but not because of the national election, at all.”


Originally published in the Jewish Journal

72 Hours with Masa

<div class="masa-blog-title">72 Hours with Masa </div>

The Hebrew word Masa translated to English literally means journey and the staff of Masa have spent the last 72 hours on an epic one. Our Masa North America team landed in Washington D.C. on Sunday for the GA, the Business Development team is leading a delegation of top U.S. university professionals through the startup nation and 200 Masa participants have begun the Masa GLI Global Leadership Summit in Jerusalem.

You may be thinking, wow, one company in so many places but for Masa, it’s the norm. Check out the images below for a closer view of our staff, participants and most of all the good vibes from the last 72 hours!


Masa GLI Leadership Summit Gala:




2016 North American Career Development Delegation:


Masa North America at the GA:


To stay up-to-date with Masa Israel Journey, follow us on Facebook and Instagram @MasaIsrael!


Destination Israel: Career Growth

Program Description

eJewish Philanthropy: Thousands of Masa Israel Participants Gather for Welcome Event

eJewish Philanthropy: Thousands of Masa Israel Participants Gather for Welcome Event

November 2, 2016

Masa Dance Party

Masa Israel Journey 2016-2017 gap year participants start an impromptu dance party in the lobby of Jerusalem’s ICC, in preparation for Masa Israel’s annual welcome event; photo by Ran Biran.

Masa Israel Journey held its annual Welcome Event on Monday evening in Jerusalem.


Masa Opening Event

Participants (including interns, volunteers, and students) celebrated the transformative experiences that await them together; photo by Ran Biran.


The gathering serves to officially welcome thousands of the 12,000 18-30 year-olds who have recently arrived in Israel to participate in dozens of long-term Israel programs including gap years, study abroad, internships, teaching English to young students, and other post-college initiatives.


Masa Hatikva 6

Israeli reggae band Hatikva 6 on October 31, 2016, at Jerusalem’s ICC; photo by Ran Biran.


With Israeli TV personality Jason Danino Holt as emcee, participants were entertained by live music from Yemenite electronic folk band A-WA and Israeli reggae group Hatikva 6. American-Israeli comedian Benji Lovitt hosted a Jewish geography game show.


Masa Opening Event

Participants from the United States and Russia show off their national pride; photo by Ran Biran.


“We bring thousands of Masa Israel Journey program participants together at this pep rally-style event, so they can get a taste of the exciting journey they each have ahead of them,” said Masa Israel Journey CEO, Liran Avisar. “We want all of our participants to understand that they are now part of a community larger than themselves, and a network that goes far beyond the specific programs on which they are enrolled. Together, we will celebrate Israeli culture and get our participants excited about experiencing Masa Israel their way – “My Masa” – so they can make the most of the transformative time in Israel to come.”


Originally published in eJewish Philanthropy

The Forward: Why the U.S. Presidential Election Matters for Israel's Environment

The Forward: Why the U.S. Presidential Election Matters for Israel's Environment

The Forward: Why the U.S. Presidential Election Matters for Israel's Environment

October 27, 2016

By Toby Mirman, Masa Israel Teaching Fellow


Israelis are interested in the U.S. presidential election. But who ends up in the White House does not only impact the most obvious foreign policy initiatives – military aid, the future of the Iran nuclear deal, a potential two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians. I see the future of U.S. environmental policy as the most critical issue to Israel’s interests, as it affects both Israel’s physical climate and economy.

As the climate changes, countries like Israel – small, densely populated states with limited natural resources, and near the coast – will likely face the brunt of negative consequences. In 2013, the Israeli Environmental Protection Administration reported that climate change would likely put more than five million Israelis at risk of not only flooding due to the rising Mediterranean and greater rainfall causing rivers to overflow, but also of increased transmission of infectious diseases from mosquitoes and other carriers.


The next very few years are crucial for the trajectory global warming takes and whether or not we will be able to keep warming to tolerable levels. Indeed, this trajectory depends directly on the environmental policies of the next president.


The United States contributes more than 15% of the world’s CO2 emissions, is second only to China in total emissions, and is far and away the world leader in emissions per capita, outpacing China almost three to one. Because the U.S. is such a huge contributor to climate change and because the U.S. is typically the least common denominator for international agreements, it is essentially impossible for mankind to keep climate change within controllable levels without genuine and enthusiastic U.S. government-led efforts to reduce carbon emissions and adopt more sustainable practices.


Should the U.S. fail to live up to its commitments and lead the way in reducing carbon emissions, we should expect that other developed economies – those countries that contribute the most to climate change – will follow suit, and continue emitting at unsustainably high rates.


President Obama has set U.S. environmental policy on a sustainable path. This fall, he signed the Paris Agreement, joining almost 200 countries in agreeing to limit climate change through reducing carbon emissions, and his administration has advanced the Clean Power Plan, which aims to transform America’s power grid to rely on cleaner and more sustainable methods of producing energy. The direction of U.S. environmental policy in coming years will direct humanity’s battle against climate change.


The impact of U.S. environmental policies on Israel during the next presidential administration will affect both Israel’s physical climate and, perhaps less obviously, its economy. Indeed, the two nominees have released vastly different statements on their intentions regarding environmental sustainability and climate change.


Why the U.S. Presidential Election Matters for Israel’s Environment

Photo Credit: Getty Images


Donald Trump has promised to rescind many of President Obama’s steps toward a sustainable future, including the Clean Power Plan, Climate Action Plan, and Waters of the U.S. Rule, as well as “cancel” the U.S.’ commitments to the Paris agreements within his first 100 days in office. Moreover, Trump has declared his intentions to eliminate entirely the Environmental Protection Agency. These actions would have catastrophic effects on our ability to combat climate change, not to mention put millions of Americans in immediate and grave danger of being poisoned by pollution currently controlled by government regulation.


Hillary Clinton’s environmental policies leave something to be desired; she has refrained from proposing the politically contentious carbon cap-and-trade and carbon tax policies thought to be necessary to significantly reduce global warming. However, she has adopted positions that extend President Obama’s existing efforts, and wants to install a billion solar panels by 2020 and generate enough renewable energy to power every home in America within the next 10 years.


Climate change will especially injure countries with coastlines as sea levels rise and extreme weather events worsen and become more common, and Israel is no exception. Climate change tends to intensify temperature extremes, while simultaneously raising average temperatures. For a desert country like Israel with already extreme temperatures, this means that summers will be drier, hotter, and longer, while winters will be shorter but with stronger rains. This effect will contribute to increased transmission of diseases as mosquitoes and other carriers encounter less cold weather, and therefore die off at lower rates, leaving more time throughout the year to infect people.


The second way U.S. environmental policy will impact Israel is through its economy. Israel is a leading exporter of environmental goods to the United States, including solar panels, desalination, irrigation, and wastewater treatment technologies, exporting close to $500 million a year. If the U.S. lives up to its commitments to the Paris Climate Accords and remains committed to the Clean Power Plan, demand for environmental goods in the U.S. stands to increase substantially as it invests in new technologies to meet emissions goals and adapt to changing conditions. Israel, a world leader in environmental, biological, and high-tech innovation, and the nation with more start-ups per capita than any other, will have a terrific opportunity to increase exports to the U.S.


The steps the next U.S. president takes regarding climate change will have a tremendous impact on Israel, both in terms of its climate and its economy. If the U.S. takes a strong stance against climate change, Israel will benefit greatly from increased American investment in its environmental sector. If, however, the U.S. chooses to spit in the face of agreed upon science and hamstring decades of environmental progress, Israel will face environmental challenges far more significant than those it has already worked so hard to overcome.


Toby Mirman is currently serving as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow, through which he teaches English to middle schoolers in Rishon LeZion, Israel. A native of West Hartford, Conn., he graduated in May 2016 from Johns Hopkins University with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Global Environmental Change and Sustainability.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward [and/or Masa Israel Journey].


Originally published in The Forward

Haaretz: Meet Hillary Clinton's Biggest Cheerleaders in Israel

Haaretz: Meet Hillary Clinton's Biggest Cheerleaders in Israel

Haaretz: Meet Hillary Clinton's Biggest Cheerleaders in Israel

October 23, 2016

By Allison Kaplan Sommer


From calling registered voters to filling out absentee ballots, Democratic Party activists in Israel do what they can to see their candidate in the White House.


Another Wellesley alumna, 28-year-old Eleanor Cheatham, attended the debate party and, like Stone, has been dedicating several hours every day to the Clinton cause. Unlike her host, however, Cheatham is a new arrival in Tel Aviv. Two months ago, she arrived to participate in the Jewish Agency’s Masa program, where young Jews experience extended internships in Israel.


Arriving in Israel “very interested in politics” after organizing events for Bernie Sanders and then becoming a Clinton supporter, Cheatham applied for her absentee ballot before she left America since “I didn’t want to leave the U.S. and abandon my civic duty.”


Once in Tel Aviv, she discovered that most of her fellow 20-somethings in Masa were less conscientious and had not registered and applied for overseas ballots. In seeking help for them, she became involved with Democrats Abroad and began volunteering, helping with their website, editing videos and responding to queries on social media.


“I’ve been reaching out to other U.S. citizens and expats who were posting for help. I answer their questions, talk them through the process step by step while they’ve filled out forms. I even went to a woman’s apartment and filled it out for her because it was so stressful for her, and then I took it to the U.S. Embassy to mail – I’ve done that for others, too. The more I’ve seen the need for help, the more my commitment has grown."


Cheatham said she couldn’t have imagined spending so much time in Israel focused on the presidential election in the country she had just left. “It’s very, very, very ironic. But I think it just really opened my eyes.”


Meeting so many young Americans who weren’t voting in the election, she said, alarmed her. “They are in their late teens and early 20s – and it seems they feel really hopeless. They have shown me there is major need to restore hope in my generation. We are young and have the most potential to shape and build our country. If we think our vote doesn’t matter, that’s really dangerous."


Read the full story in Haaretz